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Dog Fennel Eupatorium capillifolium


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Dog Fennel
credit: USDA

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Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Native annual or perennial. Spreads by seed and root to form large colonies. Leaf and flower have unpleasant odors when crushed.
Habit: multiple erect, hairy stems rising from a stout woody base.
Height: 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) or more, rarely to 9 ft (2.7 m).
Leaf: highly dissected, resembling green hairs emerging irregularly from the stem.
Flower: very small white flowers, held in wispy arching clusters.
Fruit: smooth achene, 1/16 in (1.5 mm) long.

Flower August-November.

Habitat Overgrazed pastures, disturbed sites, meadows, pond borders, ditches, roadsides; most common on dry, sandy soils; at 30-1000 ft (10-300 m).

Range Native to the southeastern U.S.; now widely naturalized from south Florida, west to east Texas, and north to Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; sometimes north along the East Coast to Massachusetts.

Discussion Also known as: dog-fennel thoroughwort. Considered an aggressive weed in many locations; listed as endangered in New Jersey.